While cloud has ushered in cutting-edge technical capabilities and application development methodologies, traditional use cases are still driving enterprise cloud adoption, said Lauren Nelson, a principal analyst at Forrester.
Even disruptive technologies like containers are currently being leveraged for more legacy-minded business imperatives. But that should start changing next year, Nelson said in a keynote Tuesday at The NexGen 2017 Conference & Technology Expo Monday in Los Angeles.
"The way they are being used today is pretty unremarkable," Nelson said of containers.
Containers, according to data presented at the latest DockerCon conference, are mostly being implemented to make monolithic applications more efficient—not a cutting-edge use case, but one that delivers real value.
"Containers are here but not tied to 12-factor app design," she said, referencing the methodology popular for building modern apps that can be delivered through a Software-as-a-Service model.
The reason most companies aren't leveraging the technology for building distributed applications is the simple challenge of retraining developers with higher-level application architecture expertise.
But those training programs "are going to explode in the next year," Nelson said.
Wider adoption of Platform-as-a-Service is another important trend in the cloud. But those wondering whether containers or PaaS will win out as the development vehicle of choice in the market are asking the wrong question, Nelson said.
That's because "cloud developers are not all one-in-the-same," she told NexGen attendees.
PaaS is clearly an important force in enterprise IT, she said, citing a recent study that found half the Fortune 500 are using Pivotal Cloud Foundry, a leading solution in the category.